It didn’t take long for the Cowboys to go back to the defensive well in this draft. After two picks spent on offense, Dallas used the 192nd overall pick to take Kentucky nose tackle Quinton Bohanna, who was listed at 357 pounds during this past season but most recently measured down around 330 pounds at his Pro Day. He’s a big monster in the middle for sure.
When I watched Quinton Bohanna on tape, I wrote in my notes: “Benihana Bohanna – because he eats up blocks”
That’s the nose guard Dallas has needed
— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) May 1, 2021
Bohanna played exactly the role you’d expect during his time at Kentucky. The Wildcats used him as big run-stuffing nose tackle on early downs, and as such he doesn’t carry an impressive stat line. He was a regular contributor all four years at Kentucky, and finished with 58 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, four swatted passes, a fumble recovery, and a forced fumble for his entire career. But what those numbers don’t show is how good he was against the run:
Therein lies the obvious appeal for the Cowboys, whose run defense was abysmal last year. They thought they had fortified the run defense with Dontari Poe, another massive human being, but Poe had little to offer and was cut halfway through the season. Bohanna seems to fit that kind of profile, as a big mauler in the middle who can anchor the middle of the line on run plays.
Bohanna doesn’t really offer any interior pass rush, which limits him severely as far as how many downs he can play at the next level. Bohanna never had more than a sack in any of his four seasons, and didn’t record one at all this past year. But in the sixth round, teams aren’t finding much reliable interior pass rush anyway, and Dallas already addressed that area with Osa Odighizuwa yesterday.
Bohanna will likely end up rotating to some degree with free agent signee Brent Urban, who was brought in for his prowess against the run. As a later pick, don’t expect Bohanna to play a whole lot right away, and he may get the treatment that Neville Gallimore was seeing last year before injuries pushed him into more duties. But Bohanna offers obvious appeal as an interior run defender, something this defense was sorely lacking last year.